Friday, March 13, 2009

President Clinton on stem cell research - 'embryos are not fertilised’

So says President Clinton. You would think that, of all people, he would understand the process of fertilisation:

Sperm + Egg = Zygote
Sperm + Dress = Impeachment (no zygote)
Zygote = Embryo
Embryo = Baby

Yet President Clinton justified embryonic stem cell research by stating five times in an interview that embryos are not fertilised. And Dr Sanjay Gupta – CNN’s chief medical correspondent and former candidate for President Obama’s abortion surgeon general – not once challenged or corrected him.

It beggars belief that Dr Gupta did not know that President Clinton was wrong. The absence of any correction is evidence of collusion in the Orwellian re-drafting of embryology definitions in order to inculcate changed perception and encourage the mass acceptability of stem cell research.

Here is a transcript of the interview:
(Hat-tip Creative Minority Report)

Gupta: Let's talk about something you talked a lot about in the early part of your presidency, stem cells. There was an order today providing federal money for embryonic stem cell research. First of all, let me just ask you, as someone who studied this, is this going to always be as divisive an issue as it is now? Is this going to be the abortion of the next generation? Or are people going to come around?

Clinton: I think - the answer is I think that we'll work it through. If - particularly if it's done right. If it's obvious that we're not taking embryos that can - that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilised and become little babies, and I think if it's obvious that we're not talking about some science fiction cloning of human beings, then I think the American people will support this....

Gupta: Any reservations?

Clinton: I don't know that I have any reservations, but I was - he has apparently decided to leave to the relevant professional committees the definition of which frozen embryos are basically going to be discarded, because they're not going to be fertilised. I believe the American people believe it's a pro-life decision to use an embryo that's frozen and never going to be fertilised for embryonic stem cell research....

But those committees need to be really careful to make sure if they don't want a big storm to be stirred up here, that any of the embryos that are used clearly have been placed beyond the pale of being fertilised before their use. There are a large number of embryos that we know are never going to be fertilised, where the people who are in control of them have made that clear. The research ought to be confined to those....

But there are values involved that we all ought to feel free to discuss in all scientific research. And that is the one thing that I think these committees need to make it clear that they're not going to fool with any embryos where there's any possibility, even if it's somewhat remote, that they could be fertilised and become human beings.

Is the former president confused? Are we witnessing the early signs of senile dementia? Is it a simple error?

It is certainly not an error in terminology, for he has previously said on Larry King Live:

But this stem cell research, if the stem cells are frozen embryonic stem cells, if they are never going to be used to be fertilised, to bring a life into being, then I think making them available for medical research is the pro-life position and I honestly don't understand - I would understand it if we were going and raiding stem cell banks, where these stem cells were going to be used to actually fertilise eggs and have babies.

And it sounds such a ‘pro-life’ statement, so utterly reasonable. Until one considers that this ‘world leader’ and CNN's good doctor are actually using ‘fertilised’ in the sense of ‘implanted’. The term ‘conception’ is already widely used in such a way, such that the ‘morning-after pill’ ceases to be abortion, and another term is ‘adapted’ to anaesthetise people from the harsh realities of murder.

Even the concept of a ‘fertilised egg’ is erroneous, for the oocyte ceases to be once amphimixis is complete. The moment the zona pellucida is penetrated, major reactions occur which transform both the egg and the sperm to such an extent that they are transmogrified into a quite different entity – a zygote; a single cell human being.

All talk of a ‘fertilised egg’ simply deflects from the true nature of a zygote – a human being at the earliest stages of existence.

President Clinton’s justification for stem cell research emanates from an inadequate education. This begs the question of when he is properly educated on the birds and the bees, will he change his position on embryonic stem cell research? And if he will not change his mind (which he will not), then it is evident that he is manipulating the change in terminology and definitions in order to persuade the American people of the utter reasonableness of his view. Since he vetoed two bills (passed by Congress) which would have banned ‘partial birth abortion’, there appears to be little doubt about his life-denying beliefs or his Godless utilitarian agenda.


Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Keynes said:

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

Clinton seems to say:

When an inconvenient fact is put to me, I redefine the fact

I do not believe Clinton is ignorant of biology. He rather wants to spin any facts. He takes comfort from Henry Ford who said:

two per­cent of the people think; three percent think they think, and 95 percent would rather die than think.

He believes that he can fool all the people all of the time. Who knows? He may be right.

13 March 2009 at 09:35  
Blogger David said...

Clinton's insinuation that zygotes not destined to be implanted are not real human beings with rights belongs to the same school of logic that says that oral sex does not constitute 'sexual relations'.

What His Grace does not deal with in this excellent post is the core argument: that if zygotes are going to be discarded, they might as well be used instead for a purpose that could save lives (stem-cell research) - making this a 'pro-life' point of view.

The 'logic' behind this is also clearly flawed. The way it should be stated is 'if zygotes are not going to be implanted, they shouldn't be artificially created in the first place'. [And some would say, no zygotes at all should be created artificially, because you will inevitably have to discard some.] But then that would place limits on the whole industry that will grow up to mass-produce 'excess' zygotes expressly for the purpose of stem-cell research. And who wants to stop economic growth in these times?

13 March 2009 at 09:49  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

And people guffawed at the things that George W Bush said . . .

13 March 2009 at 10:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

I don't wish to offend yourself or anyone else but I have to ask the question, why are we getting so upset over a single cell or even a few cells that might make a normal human being when clearly actual human beings are treated in such an appalling way all over the globe. If this research cures cancer and other heinous deceases, I can't see the problem.

13 March 2009 at 10:15  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The fact that they have decided the truth is not the best way forward for this speaks volumes to me.

They want to have the go ahead to play with human embryo's, and once that license is granted it all becomes academic and semantics: there will be no stopping them. Its not a world I want to be part of. Good luck with it all.

13 March 2009 at 10:37  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

I sense a feeling of urgency in all of this, and I would hazard a guess that they have been playing with this behind closed doors for some time. I have a feeling that they have discovered something and are now trying to accelerate something through. God only knows what the plan is, but it wont be anything that I want to be part of, this much I am sure of.

13 March 2009 at 11:33  
Blogger phyl said...

There are 100's of scientific studies that have been done on AFA and our product StemEnhance. There are also 100's of scientific papers on Adult Stem Cell therapy. I have listed quite a few on my blog that you can read at You can also find the book over at that Christian Drapeau wrote. It is called "The Stem Cell Theory of Renewal" Take a look if you would like to talk feel free to email or call me anytime 877-696-8581

13 March 2009 at 11:33  
Blogger David said...

@ Anonymous (comment No. 4),

From a faith perspective, even a mere stem cell or collection of stem cells is a living human being and is therefore sacred.

Ethically, if you accept the premise that a zygote is a human being, there is no absolute distinction between deliberately creating such human beings in order to destroy them through stem-cell research, on the one hand, and needless killing of human beings in futile wars, which is also frequently 'justified' in terms of saving lives (cf. the Israeli justification for bombing Gaza being that it would save Israeli lives - never mind the many more innocent Gazan Palestinians whose lives had to be sacrificed).

Of course, we can argue about some wars being justified owing to the overwhelming suffering and destruction of life they are aiming to bring to an end (e.g. the Second World War). But in the case of stem-cell research, there are alternatives already (see phyl's comment), and - as Christians - one must believe that if God intends us to find cures for chronic diseases (which is an authentic Christian hope), he'll provide morally legitimate means for us to do so. Seeking to achieve this end immorally, on the other hand, is a misuse of the God-given faculty of human reasoning and scientific understanding.

13 March 2009 at 12:08  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

Mr Anonymous asks why get upset about a few embryos being destroyed when there is the possibility of curing all sorts of diseases?

That is, apart from the issue that you raise, which is the sheer brass neck of Clinton claiming that the embryos are not fertilised when all the science indicates that are.

But why get uptight indeed?

First there is the danger of utilitarianism. Embryos are human beings - that is now established scientific fact. Before 1990 there was actually some doubt that personhood could exist at such an early stage of gestation. But research since 1990 on animal embryos (and ironically on human embryos) shows that even at the 2-cell stage, the evidence points to one cell having the potential for producing the placenta, amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord. The other cell will become the embryo and foetus. So there is a closed differentiating system - a human individual at an early stage in its development. It is a human individual with potential. It is one continuum with the later rational human adult.

If embryos can be treated as commodities to be sacrificed for the greater good, where does this end? What about using organs from people in a persistent vegetative state? Lets forget about all this nonsense looking after them. Put them out of everyone else's misery; there are nice fresh organs there to be harvested, one might conclude.

But another answer which might satisfy the utilitarians is that all the promises of great medical cures are just that - promises. In spite of the promises made by the proponents for the use of embryonic stem cells, research globally has not provided any cures.

Specifically, there have been uncontrollable tumours produced in the bodies of unfortunate people who were chosen for such treatments.

However, the use of "Adult" Stem Cells (non-embryonic) from bone marrow, fatty tissue and amniotic fluid has produced positive results for:

Heart disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Spinal cord injuries
Sickle cell anaemia
Leukaemia treatments in children

And more are being found every day.
The use of adult stem cells has no ethical problems.

Recently, the Daily Telegraph reported that Professor Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University claimed that the Government and funding bodies were biased to embryonic stem cell research rather than research on adult stem cells. The Professor had decided to take his research to France.

It would be somewhat ironic if Obama's decision to lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research led to the balance of research shifting to this unethical area, chasing after a mythical crock of gold and neglecting the more fruitful adult stem cell research, resulting in a slow down of cures being developed.

13 March 2009 at 12:15  
Anonymous Andrew Lilico said...

Absolutely extraordinary!

13 March 2009 at 12:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U S presidents are only front men (don`t expect them to really know whats going on!) the real power lies behind the throne .

13 March 2009 at 13:22  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Grumpy Catholic,
Firstly I must apologise for posting anonymous(4th post), it was a mistake I didn't intend

A well put argument and I must say I don't know the difference in value between adult stem cells and those used from embryos. If embryonic stem cells are of no further use than adult ones, then there is no justification in using them. I think the point being made in relation to the use of embryonic stem cells as to where it might lead is valid.

The problem I have with the pro life lobby is when it comes to terminations, it is for the individual to wrestle with their conscience and live with their decisions and not for the self righteous to impose their beliefs upon them. Abortions are an ugly thing and have probable gone on for as long as mankind but saying that they are certainly not something that should be done at the drop of a hat like they seem to be now.

13 March 2009 at 13:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Unfortunately with Clinton being intellectually lazy and morally dubious, I have no doubt he really think this.

Ignorance is so common among the sociopaths that accede to high office that it is simply the self-delusion of those around them that believe they share the same values, mean the same when using similar words, and even have a common morality.

The nature of political power and the deformed beings that revel in its corrupting influence is that they are not like those they rule, and in many ways are defective and deficient. It is the failure of democracy that voters do not scrutinise much more carefully and critically those they elevate to such positions

13 March 2009 at 16:14  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Maturecheese, you are quite right, if we are simply a by-product of evolution, consequently there being no reason behind our existence other than an accident of nature, i.e. there is no God, then by all means we can dispose of our fellow humans as we see fit. But if it makes you feel better we can pretend it matters, we can employ such euphemisms as “Abortions are an ugly thing” [keep serious tone, head slightly down] and in the same breath excuse ourselves with “they have probable gone on for as long as mankind” [slowly nod head, take on thoughtful countenance], so that’s all right then. My ancestors were Vikings, I’m just off for a bit of rape and pillage, well they used to do it, don’t judge me man! Or even worse we lie to ourselves with platitudes like “they are certainly not something that should be done at the drop of a hat”. Why the hell not, there’s money to be made hovering out wombs [BPAS profits appox, £12 million per annum and rising], after all they’re only insentient collections of cells, they’re not real people.

When ones true worth at conception is measured by whether they’re an accident or not, whether for cultural reasons your parents prefered a boy (they could abort all the girls, which is why the NHS will not tell you the sex of your baby, think about that absurdity for a moment), or whether you have a handicap, however minor we condemn ourselves as a truly a utilitarian and materialistic society. In a society that does not care for those least able to defend themselves, what hope can we have when we become dependant and unproductive.

You see finally in this utopia we are not answerable for our actions, when we’re dead we’re dead, so it’s all about what we can get away with in life, as Danny De Vito in Other People's Money said:

You make as much as you can for as long as you can.

And then what?

"And then what?"

Whoever has the most when he dies, wins.

And we decide what’s right or wrong, no one can gainsay us except a bloke with more money or a bigger stick. In this philosophy old Dawkins is quite right when he says that there is no right or wrong; actions are simply the product of the evolutionary process, that is the prevailing chemicals in our brains. So he extrapolates from this, the logical extension of his ‘meme’: a murderer is not wrong as such, his actions are simply due to a programming error that needs correction, or if we like elimination. The act of murder is not a choice from free will but the consequence of evolution that has culminated in his particular physical constitution, the condition of his brain and his genetic makeup; this is the same for all of us. It’s a little Calvinistic in its predetermination because none of us can really affect the outcome of our actions, any conception that we can is illusory. We think they are free but in reality all our actions are determined by the evolutionary process; free will is a figment of your imagination (according to Dawkins). The same applies for any anti-social behaviour; it’s all a matter of a chemical imbalance.

Now if this sounds plausible consider, the worst excesses of history, the most flagrant abuse of power, I’m sure you can think of a few, they are no more wrong than the most philanthropic activities of any saint are right. It’s just the chemicals, and when we are dead and forgotten, who cares. Were the mass human sacrifices and cannibalism of the Aztecs wrong or just a cultural choice driven by environment and evolution, ahh the survival of the fittest, don’t you just love it?

Some of us, me included, do not subscribe to this desolate philosophy of subjective morality, we observe the universe as you do and conclude that in the activities of man there undoubtedly exists a force of objective morality, that is some things are right and others are wrong irrespective of individual opinion or state legislation.

Without going into the reasons for this it boils down to a belief in a God and he has a reason and a purpose for each of us which were revealed in His Son Jesus Christ. One of those beliefs is that human life is sacred, now if you think about it, this cannot be reduced to sometimes sacred and other times not, it must be sacred all the time otherwise it is meaningless, hence no human embryo destruction, abortion or euthanasia. Why? Because life is sacred and we have not been given permission to second guess it no matter how advanced or independent of God we think we are.

How then do we reconcile this with the right for a mother to choose, (have you ever considered choose what?), we don’t. We can find no more justification in a mother killing her baby before it is born than after, because we cannot make the distinction in the value of the human person. That you say makes us ‘self righteous’ well so be it, (do you actually know the meaning of this phrase or are you just using it as a term of derision, whatever). Further more you say we impose our beliefs on others, please site one example in the UK, just one where an abortion has been stopped because one of the so called ‘self righteous’ has complained to a practicing abortionist sighting offended beliefs, this is the meaning of the verb impose, you know you can’t because we cannot impose those beliefs however much we would like to, yes I’ll admit to desiring the end of legalised abortion. Unless you’re real objection is to the pro life lobby holding and voicing their opinions, and if so why would that be?

If you agree that a mother, because lets not kid ourselves that is what she is, has the right to kill her unborn child, (why have we moved away from this emotive language, is this because it reminds us too closely of what is actually taking place), then you must also grant that your own mother had just as much right to kill you if she felt like it. It follows therefore that you agree that during the first nine months (lets not get into statutory limits, we both know these can and are regularly abused) of your life, you did not have a right to life and therefore you must also agree that it was right and you should have been killed for no other reason than your mum felt like it. Bet she gets a bigger bunch of flowers this mother’s day.

13 March 2009 at 17:26  
Anonymous Preacher said...

The REAL question is WHY is research not being carried out on adult stem cell research? As Phyl so rightly states, this is proving effective, with no ethical problems to boot. With regards to Bill Clinton, this is obviously just another case of Orwellian "Newspeak" placebos for the masses.

13 March 2009 at 17:30  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...


Personally I find it comforting to learn that the adult stem cells have been shown to provide the beneficial medical cures that mankind is searching for. I really don't see why embryonic stem cells need to be used at all, though as a scientist myself I can recognise that there is an innate urge amongst scientists to explore the boundaries.

With regard to abortion itself, if only people just had to wrestle with their consciences. But there is a lot of pressure on the pregnant woman to get rid of it from their partners, their friends from even their friend's parents - (I know of one case, where the parents themselves didn't know, but the friend's parent thought it appropriate to give her view).

Often the woman needs space to make her decision. And often its not the decision the liberal elite may wish. The Joseph Rowntree foundation bemoaned the fact that young girls wanted to keep their babies instead of terminating.

Prolife organisations can offer various types of support; space to consider their decision; baby equipment, baby clothes if money is an issue. Advice on adoption can be provided if that is to be considered. There is shelter offered for the woman if she has been ejected from her home because of the pregnancy.

If she decides to go ahead with the termination, there is post abortion support if she feels bad afterwards. This support can often continue over many months.

'Jane Roe' of Roe vs Wade certainly regrets her role in the landmark case that altered American law. Her real name is Norma McCorvey; she did not abort her child and today 'feels responsible for the deaths of many children'.

13 March 2009 at 18:05  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

We realise it doesn't do much for our classic liberal credentials but, try as we might, we just can't get excited about rights for embryos, when measured against the enormous good stem cell research can do and has done.

We should add that we write as someone whose mother spent 20 years watching her nervous system devour itself.

We're not closed-minded about the subject though.

Clinton, however, is smart enough to know he's talking complete hooey, which is shameful.

13 March 2009 at 22:00  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

"mare zygotes and doe zygotes and little lambs and ivy."

13 March 2009 at 23:35  
Anonymous the recusant said...

the ink slinger,

You will not find any objection by the pro life lobby to stem cell research; however as ultramontane grumpy old catholic said above are we talking about adult or embryonic stem cell research.

The moral argument aside, just on results alone Adult stem cell research wins hands down.

Adult stem cells do not form tumours as embryonic stem cells do. Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated, which means they or not developed into a specific cell type, they multiply out of control. Embryonic stem cells develop genetic abnormalities after growing for extensive amounts of time. This is the case with all cells, but does not happen with adult stem cells used in therapies because they are not kept in the lab for long periods of time before being used in patients.

Perhaps most significant from the clinical perspective is the fact that embryonic stem cell research has not yet yielded a single successful human treatment. (Nor, it should be noted, has there been major success in any animal model to date.)

Adult stem cells, on the other hand, have been improving lives and treating living, breathing human beings suffering from over seventy different diseases.

Adult stem cell research offers the best and only proven treatments for a whole host of human ailments and frailties the success of adult stem cells in treating 80 different diseases and injuries. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which have not been used in a single human clinical trial.

These are some of the documented diseases that Adult Stem cell research has been used to treat, Heart Tissue Regeneration, Spinal Cord Injuries, Corneal Reconstruction, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, Autoimmune Disease: Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Crohn's, and Lupus, Parkinson's disease, Anemias, Cancers, Bone marrow transplants and among the myriad of other diseases and conditions that have been helped with adult stem cells are surface wounds, bone damage, stroke damage, liver disease, and breast cancer.

And yet although embryonic stem cell research has so far produced not one single tangible benefit this is where the government is spending our taxes, does that make sense to you?

A leading UK adult stem cell scientist has left his post at Newcastle University and is heading to France, alleging UK universities and funding agencies continually prioritize embryonic stem cell research over his work - despite the superior clinical success of adult stem cells.

Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University, told Times Higher Education that he had to put his patients and staff first. 'The bottom line is my vocation is to work with patients and help patients and unfortunately I can't do that in the UK.' He said France offered a 'much better environment' both to 'cure and treat more people' and to 'do good work'.

Baroness Williams of Crosby 3 Mar 2009 House o Lords via hansard
We have now had long discussions in this House on the subject of human fertilisation and embryology research. One thing that has come through very clearly is that there is a very strong received opinion in the scientific community. I should declare a distant interest as having been once been a Minister for science. I came across that received opinion on a number of other issues of controversy within science. There has now been a sustained received opinion that embryonic stem cell research is more valuable and is likely to prove to be more effective than other kinds of research into stem cells, despite the growing evidence—and it is powerful growing evidence, as the noble Baroness, Lady Morris, and the noble Lord, Lord Alton, said—that adult stem cell research is leading to far more effective therapies than are associated with embryonic stem cell research. Indeed, the most recent figure indicates that some 80 effective therapies have come out of the study of adult stem cells, and not a single one, unless the Minister would like to name it, has so far operated at the level of being an effective therapy from embryonic stem cell research.

So ink slinger you will note not one appeal to any moral code, just hard facts, perhaps your voice as a sufferer more than any others here carries the weight of conviction, can you deny that scarce resources should no longer be wasted on embryonic stem cell research and instead better spent on adult stem cell research

14 March 2009 at 13:06  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

A thoughtful and thought-provoking reply, Recusant.

We should add that it wasn't us who suffered, but our mother, who bore the affliction with courage and good humour, except when she was being a self-centered, manipulative old battleaxe.

But that's another story.

We are taking your comments under advisement.

14 March 2009 at 13:26  
Anonymous The Exterminator said...

linguistics ( spin ) is important.
this is how, despite telling us we need mass mass immigration in this country they have been able to convince women to abort.
How the Elites Push Abortion, It's OK, it's only cells
The Sham Enquiry

6 Million abortions later.
6 Million Abortions
Sterilise British Schoolchildren

tell me this is not a deliberate EU inspired agenda to reduce the numbers of indigenous british ( and no doubt European ) people at the ballot box.

14 March 2009 at 15:14  
Blogger ZZMike said...

Besides all that, you'll find that embryonic stem cells have had ittle or no success in curing or treating any disease - more than that, they've caused tumors in patients.

(I'm certainly open to facts to the contrary. I will check Phyl's sources.)

Autologic stem cells (those harvested from your own person) and umbilical stem cells (I forget the technical term for those), on the other hand, have been used and useful for some years. Cancer patients undergoing rigorous chemotherapy often have their stem cells taken before treatment, and reinjected after.

I applaud Mr Grumpy's comment. There is a small correction: the Bush administration did not prohibit stem cell research, it refused Federal funding for such research - except for a dozen or so strains that had been going on before. More than a few people think Bush prohibited it - he didn't.

It is, however, a field in which vast sums of other people's money may be expended.

15 March 2009 at 05:53  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

Satan is a liar and the father of lies! He is a master at cloacking the truth with redefining, twisting and employing redefined language/ words/ terms to serve his evil purpose: Murder, destruction, theft! Murder is no murder whithout a human being that is/ has been murdered. You can not murder an animal. You can not murder a plant. Because abortion is murder of an unborn human life (it is obviously NOT animal nor plant, but human, and it is obviously a life, as it grows, with his/her own being, even making demands on the mother for sustenance at the expense of the mother as all mothers can tell by their teeth, showing the life in their womb took calcium from the mother's body at her expense!) all abortionists are murderers that deserve to be prosecuted for murder, and the mothers would be murderers of their own aborted un-born children, the unborn child is redefined as tissue, as part of the mother's body, or any term which would cover the truth: that the life in her womb is a human being, that started his/her life at the moment of his/her conception: when the seed of the father and the egg of the mother became a new cell with it's own DNA and it's own life. The same is done to 'whites' that murdered their black slaves 200 hudred years ago, and to Nazi's that murdered disabled, or otehwrise unwanted human beings: They would be redefined as non-humans. So killing them would not constitute murder. This way, the murderers would go free. Murder was also redefined as euthanasia (the active form of it, I am talking about), and in the case of unborn human beings, harvesting. So, we need to watch out for these subtle twistings, and redefinings of language to evade the undesired truth! We, Christians and other people who refuse to allow the lies in our lives and society, have to immediately address these language-corruptions and language-pollutions whenever we see them! And immediately bring out the true words, terms and menaings of words.

15 March 2009 at 17:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this some sort of newspeak discussion group is this I have stumbled upon?
If I decided to abort another person is that murder? or is it just a `thing`
It sounds to me ( way above my head) that depersonalising the process, using scientific words, makes it more acceptable.

15 March 2009 at 20:09  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

Ah, Dutchlionfrans, reductio ad Hitlerum....

Always a sound way of making your point.

15 March 2009 at 22:00  
Blogger Theresa said...

Hi Maturecheese,

I think the problem with this debate is that because we are dealing with something that is small, it is deemed to be unimportant. It is hard for people to think about life at this level and this stage of development and easy to dismiss as irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are altering the way that the building blocks of life are put together and it affects us all, whether we want to be or not.
Why is this so? Firstly, cloning is involved in embryonic stem cell research. As this research goes on, scientists are building up a knowledge of how to clone human beings. There has been virtually no discussion about this rather worrying fact, except to say that human reproductive cloning would always be banned. To me that's rather like telling a thief not to burgle your house, and then leaving the doors and windows open, your valuables in full view and your car keys on the mantlepiece for a quick getaway. Of course it will be used at some point by someone. Western Europe has a falling population; so has America and this is probably the main reason for this research continuing. It's worth pointing out that one of the main protagonists of this research was Robert Winston, who is a fertility expert. But the second reason that this research is worrying is because it's crossing the species barrier. The animal eggs that are being used in this process may carry retroviruses and these could be transmitted through the stem cell lines grown from the embryos. There is a huge debate going on about xenotransplantation in science; this is where parts of an animal are put into humans, like pig heart valves. These people are monitored for disease, and those who receive neural transplants are told to use a condom when having sex in case they pass a disease on. Yet none of this debate was mentioned with regard to hybrid embryos and medicines that might be derived from them.
What's an example of a retroviral disease that crossed the species barrier? HIV no less. That is what we could be looking at if this goes ahead. And that's why nearly every country in Europe rejected this research apart from ourselves. We are practically a rogue state, as one politician put it. Adult stem cell research has been spectacularly successful, but one of the reasons that big companies don't want to develop it is because they cannot claim patenting rights over treatments because the stem cells come from the person themselves. It's also very expensive at the mo. Anyway, hope that helps explain what the fuss is about. Embryonic research is a Bad Thing, make no mistake about it, and dangerous as well. And regardless of the right and wrong of an action, there are always consequences to what you do, and what could happen as a result of this is too frightening to think about. It could wipe us out. That's the reality of meddling with the fundamental laws of nature like this.

16 March 2009 at 00:04  
Blogger Tommy 3 Lions said...

Ex President.

16 March 2009 at 21:05  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Tommy 3 Lions,

The correct form of address to a former president is still president.

16 March 2009 at 22:41  
Blogger Tommy 3 Lions said...

So America has 5 presidents! Blimey. Thank goodness a Prime Minister isn;t called a Prime Minister when they are not a Prime Minister.

21 March 2009 at 19:40  

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